Went thrifting today.
Good book haul:
- Better Homes & Gardens Meals with a Foreign Flair, 1963 — Standard, but perhaps notable for the chapter header “Honorable Chinese dinner”
- BH&G Good Food On A Budget, 1971 — Budget cooking from some alternate reality where Mock Lasagne uses pork sausage (cheap?) but elbow macaroni instead of lasagne noodles (apparently expensive?). Other representative dishes: Mustard-sauced Cabbage, Salmon Pinwheels
- 8,414 Strange and Fascinating Superstitions, 2005 reprint of 1948 volume — first addition in a long time to the Religion and Folklore section
- The Complete Book of Games, 1938 — if reprinted today, should have title changed to My Dear Sweet Lord, We Were Bored Back Then. After 404 pages on cards, dice, checkers and billiards, we are introduced to such wonderful past-times as List The States, It Tastes Like (and companion Sniff), Letter Golf, Man to Nut, Dumb Spelling Match, Mrs. Pettigrew’s Tea, Blind Pig, Where Am I?, Milk Bottle Balance, This Is My Nose, Kazoo Orchestra, Shouted Proverbs, Dishpan Race, Paper Bag Handshake, Your Fish My Fish, Raft Battle-Royal, Nigger Baby, and literally hundreds more.
- Guide to Modern Meals, 1970 — A really solid home ec textbook
- A Concise History of the USSR, 1971 — I actually rather liked the Lenin biography I read a little while ago, so this seems likely to fill the “now reading” slot recently vacated by Master and Commander.
Also got a FireKing serving dish similar to another I had, but another seemed like a good idea.
I have fucked-up dreams.
I was backstage at a huge theatre, hiding on the topmost level of scaffolding, watching as the two stars of the show (whom I didn’t know) stood at the very fore of a lower level of scaffolding. I was waiting for them to die by falling off, but they never did.
I was walking home from school through countryside I’d never seen before. There was a broken flagstone path down a gentle hill bordered by low wooden retaining walls beyond which were rolling grassy hills. At the bottom of the path was a single enormous oak tree. As I walked down the path I would lock my left foot behind my right calf and kick off with my right foot, jumping higher into the air with every kick.
My jumping had the physics of being in extremely low gravity though, everything else was normal. Well, not quite normal. I was jumping to 30-40 feet then gliding fairly softly back down, landing with so little force that I could still come down on one leg with no discomfort or jarring and immediately kick off again, while the ascents were very rapid. At the tops of the arcs was an exaggerated pause and I sometimes felt I could keep going if I would will myself to, but I always decided to come back down.
Once I got to the tree, people started asking me questions about the jumping. No one else could do it although it seemed natural to me. I had to demonstrate. I jumped until I reached the lowest branches of the huge tree. I held myself still on a branch, then dropped, then kicked off once more, reaching a much higher branch. This was supposed to prove something, though I cannot remember what.
I was at work. I was working in a fictional counterpart to the real-world electrical supply store I worked at while in (real-world) school. It was a Friday afternoon and everyone was about to go home for the week. The (real) owner of the (real) store was there, as was the (dream) manager of the (dream) store — this was the only real-world detail in the entirety of the dream. Customers were milling about, bullshitting, and I was sweeping up with my coworkers. We had to fill out quarterly examinations of ourselves. I tried to be honest, but felt like I’d done a very good job lately. Then I looked up at a chart drawn on a chalkboard behind the parts counter: I had worked at the wrong store all week, and no one had known it except the owner, who was furious with me.
As a result, I was tasked with driving a truckload of parts to our other location. There were three people in the pickup truck: a long-time customer, who was in the driver’s position and was in control of the throttle; me, in the middle, who had the steering wheel; and a schoolmate of mine, who was in the passenger position.
I don’t know why she was there. No one in school liked her, but she always got her way. She had just had another girl beheaded, and to get back at her we put the severed head in her lap. The head grinned and spoke breathlessly to her while she screamed. I was very pleased at this comeuppance.
Driving was hard because (as everyone knew) the guys at the store always did lots of psychoactive drugs before making delivery runs, as the road was very hilly and curvy, and it made things more of a challenge. I started seeing glowing spots and then the whole world started streaking (trails). I said, in a clear voice, that either someone had slipped something into my water at the store, or that I was about to die of a massive stroke. This amused the “driver” and made the irritating girl scream even more.
We eventually made it as far as we could in the truck. We had to walk the rest of the way on foot, pushing our cargo — the lower half of a Soviet Orlan spacesuit — in a grocery store cart. The irritating girl wasn’t the irritating girl anymore; she was now the owner of the store, and he and the “driver” were very drunk. I had recovered from the drugging. They didn’t know about my jumping. I wanted to show it off, but couldn’t. Instead I decided to throw the whole (very heavy) cart across a small ditch which was impeding our progress through the series of freshly-paved parking lots we were walking through.
It was a dismal failure, but nothing was hurt, so we all laughed, righted the cart, and carried on. From nowhere in particular, the world was filled with Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart”, and we all sang along. I declared that the video for this song was one of the best ever made. No one else had seen it.
Then I got a text message and I woke up.